Seven Seventy

(disclaimer, I have nothing against Lubavitchers, please do not take this as a personal criticism, just my humble opinion)

 

I don’t get it, I really don’t. I took a little trip tonight to 770, Lubavitch headquarters, home of the fabled Lubavitcher Rebbe who may or may not have died. (poor taste joke from my son – why were the police called to the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s grave? There was a death threat…..) Unfortunately, being that I am but a lowly female I was not allowed into the main area of the beis hamedrash, BUT was blessed to be allowed to watch the men learn from the ladies section.

 

The late rebbe’s shtende was pointed out to me, as was his chair and his siddur. It was explained to me that at davening times the carpet is rolled out, the chair pulled back and the siddur opened to the right spot. The man died, he was actually buried….why are these people carrying on as if he is there. I mean, isn’t this mass denial? Doesn’t it sound ever so cultish? Maybe I just don’t get the whole meshichist thing, but wasn’t Rabbi M M Schneerson a person of flesh and blood just like you and me, who was called to his Maker at the appointed time? Who decided he was Mashiach? I am sure he didn’t. From all I have heard he was a very humble man who probably wouldn’t go in for this yechi adonenu moreinu verabeinu stuff.

 

I did a Wikipedia search on 770 and learned that it was originally a medical clinic that was closed down due to the performing of illegal abortions. It was bought in 1940 by Agudath Yisrael Chabad. I just find that piece of history very interesting. From abortions to everlasting life…..

 

Part of me was hoping that being there would be spiritually moving in some way, maybe I could daven there for the right man to come along on his white horse……but nothing moved me there. I just felt extremely cynical. And that bothers me.

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5 Comments

  1. Hadassa says:

    I totally understand and agree with you. I have met many wonderful Chabad rabbis who never tired of helping their fellow Jews, and who also encouraged living in Israel – before the arrival of the Mashiah. This Rebbe-is-the-Mashiah bit mars my respect for them. Rav Shlomo Aviner (another problematic rabbi, but we must quote our sources) published a bit of writing, in the Rebbe’s handwriting, affirming that he is (the Rebbe was alive then) not the Mashiah and such talk should stop. I can’t imagine that the Rebbe is getting any “nachas” out of this Mashiah fervor. What really bothers me is that if the Rebbe was a Cohen (and he was, wasn’t he?), then he can’t be from the House of David so there was no way that he could have been the Mashiah. If you can’t daven well in 770, then by all means find a different shul.
    As for your beshert, I have seen so many incredible matches made after people, men and women, have come on aliyah to Israel. While what you hear about the singles’ problem in Israel is generally true, I can’t help but think of all the people whom I personally know who have wonderful families and would probably not have found a suitable spouse in their native countries.
    Tu B’Av is coming up. You have my prayers and best wishes that you find your beshert then, if not before.
    Hadassa, Israel

  2. Simon says:

    So, let me get this straight – you’re waiting for a nice Jewish haredi man to be riding a horse?

    Considering the amount of frummie kids who run away from me when I have my dog, I think a horse is a bit of a stretch.

  3. Hadassah says:

    Hadassa – thanks for your wishes
    Simon – a gal can dream can’t she? and i didnt even talk about the shining armour….who says a frum dude cant do the damsel in distress rescue thingie? its my dream, i can dream it in technicolour. BTW Simon, my frummie kids would run toward your dog…but thats coz they are mine and being brought up NORMAL…..lol

  4. Simon says:

    Great – when are they coming to London so they can take her for a walk? (although she’ll probably take them for a walk..)

  5. chanief says:

    I grew up in Crown Heights, but had not been to 770 in many many years. I recently found myself in CH, dressed in shorts and a tee shirt. I was with my sister and her children, who were visiting from Israel and she wanted to show her family 770 (they are Lubavitch.) I said “You go in, maybe I shouldn’t go in dressed this way.” She convinced me to go in with my children, despite my discomfort – after all, it could be that no one will look at me funny, but I KNOW better than to go into a shul like that.

    After about two minutes inside the veiber section, I turned to my sister and said “You know what? Me being in here in shorts and a tee is probably more respectful than what is going on down there!” I truly felt that way. I hustled my daughter out of there so fast, I didn’t want her forming any lasting impressions based on what 770 has become.

    But please, for all of those who have lost respect for Lubavitch as a whole because of the Moshiach debacle, do NOT judge Lubavitch as a whole for a fringe group. It may seem an unfortunate comparison, but they are like the extremist muslims – you hear about them most often, they’re the ones blowing stuff up and making tons of noise, but they do NOT speak for all of that faith.

    I have many Lubavitch family members and friends – most of them are normal, frum, hip, and realistic people. They may believe he had the potential to be Moshiach, but they don’t believe he IS Moshiach since he is, frankly, dead. As much as I have left the Lubavitch way of life behind me, it pains me to see that the Rebbe’s good and holy work that has affected so many jews throughout the world, is obscured by the ridiculous insanity of a radical faction of followers.

    Obviously I have a lot to say on the matter, but probably too much for a comment on your blog. I just implore that you keep an open mind and don’t judge the group by their radicals (that’s going to replace “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” for me ;) )

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